Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 43 - June 30 - Monticello, IL (Worship Day)

Day 43 - June 30 - Monticello, IL (Worship Day)

The day is not over yet, but we thought we'd blog about the day as it is happening.  Andy and Luey are learning to make pizza with Bonnie and Brenda.  From the laughter coming from the kitchen, it seems they are having a great time!  On Friday, Luey and Andy learned to make ice cream, and now pizza!  It seems that Luey is destined to return to Taiwan and open a pizza and ice cream shop!

This morning we worshipped with the First Christian Church, in Monticello.  They have been partnered with us  since we went to Taiwan, 15 years ago.  The missions team is awesome!  Kathy, our FA, is also a member of this congregation.  David Papner has been a great right hand man for Gloritrek, helping to organized several Gloritrek events across the US, including Monticello's!  What a blessing these folks are!

The morning including two worship services, and a terrific fellowship lunch.  Brenda, Emily, David and Noah were all in attendance, as well as some more old friends.  It was great to see Bryce Schaffer, who interned with us two years ago and biked around Taiwan with us.  Noah spoke to the youth in "The Shed," and we're told he did well, with a little assistance from MissE (Emily).

In the afternoon, Steve drove us out to Allerton Park, a mansion on the outskirts of Monticello.  Allerton Park is hard to describe, a place where, at one time, money and power ruled!  Truly, we've never seen any place like it!

This evening, we are eating pizza, speaking at a Gloritrek event at FCC, and eating dessert afterward!  Life is really hard for the Gloritrek team!  Tomorrow it is another short riding day of about 50 miles to Newman;  and Brenda's parent's home.  Bryce Schaffer, a.k.a. "Windbreaker," will be joining us to Newman!  We are truly blessed!

Thank you for praying!
Dave, Luey and Andy

Day 42 - June 29 - Fisher to Monticello, IL

Day 42 - June 29 - Fisher to Monticello, IL  (31 miles)

We were accompanied today by old friend, Rene Malaise.  He planned our route through Mahomet and the park bike path.  It was a beautiful ride through the country.  We arrived by 10 AM to a warm welcome in Monticello.  The missions team was well organized to receive us, and had all kinds of things scheduled for us -- including massages -- what hospitality!

We went to lunch at the local Chinese Restaurant with the missions team.  In the afternoon, David Papner took Andy and Luey to the Train Museum.  Andy was like a kid in a candy store!  In the evening, after supper  at the Worship Pastor's home, we got to go see the world's longest procession of Corvette's drive thru Monticello!  What a treat to see so many muscle cars!

We are being hosted by Steve and Bonnie Bayes.  Their son, Daniel, is on internship in Europe with College Heights and Team Expansion.  He has been to Taiwan twice and is Noah's buddy!  Saturday was a great day of fellowship with God's people here in Monticello!

Thanks for praying!
Dave, Luey and Andy

Day 41 - June 28 - Fisher, IL (Rest Day)

Day 41 - June 28 - Fisher, IL  (Rest Day)

Friday was a great day!  Luey and Andy were taken several places by Bethany and Karen Harrison:  the grocery store, the fire station, and to the University of Illinois.  They also got to visit a farm where Ben Harrison works on a part-time basis.  They had a busy day.

I spent the day with Brenda and Lucy Woodcock in Champaign, shopping for supplies for the trip ahead.  Not as much fun, but necessary.

We were hosted for dinner by Karen, and then it was off to River Valley where a great crowd turned out for the Gloritrek event.  We got to see lots of old friends, and make some new ones too!

Thanks for praying!
Dave, Luey and Andy

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 40 - June 27 - Lincoln to Fisher, IL

Day 40 - June 27 - Lincoln to Fisher, IL (59 miles / 2156 total miles / 15 mph average speed)

From Lincoln we rode Hwy 10, Hwy 54 and Hwy 136.  These are the roads I drove on a weekly basis when I was going to grad school at LCS.  It brought back lots of great memories going back 20 years.  It's hard not to think about the journey the Lord has taken us on -- from a small town on the plains of Central Illinois to a mega-city in Central Taiwan!  Then, as we turned west and headed for Fisher, where we served for 5 years, just prior to leaving for the mission field, a host of fond memories spurred us on. 

Roger and Lucy Woodcock are a great example of those fond memories.  When I first met Roger he reminded me of Grizzley Adams with a temper.  However, after sharing the Gospel with his daughters, Roger came to the Lord too!  What a transformation the Lord brought about in his life!  Roger and Lucy are two of our favorite people!  Last night we borrowed Lucy's truck, and Brenda and I got to go on a date, our first in a couple months!

Luey and Andy are being hosted by Karen Harrison, mother of David; our son-in-law!  Yesterday afternoon, Emily took them on a tour at the U of I.  They are having a great time off the bikes!

I hope this blog gets you thinking about how the Lord is uniquely preparing you for Kingdom service.  The Lord uses both circumstances and events to mold us as His servants.  A great example was the Apostle Paul -- over and over we see Paul using his personal testimony to share the Gospel.  What's your testimony?  How could the Lord use you?

Tonight we will have a Gloritrek event at the River Valley Church of Christ, here in Fisher!  It's so great coming home! 

Thanks for praying!
Dave, Luey and Andy
Thank yo

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 39 - June 26 - Beardstown to Lincoln, IL

Day 39 - June 26 - Beardstown to Lincoln, IL (68 miles)

At about 5 AM, Brenda and I gave Tabitha a hug and a kiss and sent her off to Houston.  Brenda may see her again this summer, but I probably will not.  It's never easy saying good-bye!

Noah picked  a fine day to rejoin the Gloritrek team!  Not long after we said good-bye to Pastor Mike Courson, Stacy Young and Brenda; it started to rain.  It rained really hard for a good 30-40 miles.  We were all drenched.  About half-way to Lincoln, Noah's knee began to hurt, and by the time we arrived in Lincoln, Noah was ready to call it quits.  He really wanted to rejoin us on Gloritrek , but his knee is just not ready to go.  We hope he can try again in a week or two.  Sorry, buddy!

We arrived at Lincoln Christian University, where I graduated from the seminary way back in 1995!  It's too bad we couldn't arrange a Gloritrek event for one of the churches here in Lincoln or LCU.  It would have been nice to be here while school was still in session.  Perhaps one day we can return and share some of our experiences and insights from Gloritrek or church planting in the 10/40 Window.

Tomorrow it is on to Fisher, where we served for 5 years prior to leaving for Taiwan.  We will have two nights there, with a Gloritrek event on Friday night.  Looking forward to seeing lots of terrific people!

Thanks for praying!
Dave, Luey, Andy and Luey

Day 38 - June 25 - Carrollton to Beardstown, IL

Day 38 - June 25 - Carrollton to Beardstown, IL (58 miles / 2029 total miles)

We went over 2,000 miles today, a milestone we just had to stop and celebrate!  Buoyed by a southerly breeze, we made excellent time to Beardstown; arriving around 10:30 AM.  Bob and Stacey Young hosted us, with Bob even driving down the highway to greet us, and take our bags.

Shortly after lunch, Brenda arrived with Noah and Tabitha.  Tabitha is leaving for and internship in Houston, TX, in the morning.  Noah, Luey and Andy all went fishing with Bob.  The prize for catching the biggest fish goes to Andy!

The B'town brethren have been long-time supporters of our work in Taiwan.  It was great to see so many familiar faces at the Gloritrek program; including our old co-workers, Lance and Kim Hampton.  They are both on staff at FCC.  After the Gloritrek program, Emily surprised me by driving over from Champaign.  She brought black cake and balloons to celebrate my 50th birthday -- which took place out in the desert west of Phoenix.  I was quite surprised!

Noah is planning on joining us tomorrow as we pedal to Lincoln!  It reminds me that sometimes things don't go exactly as you envision or plan.  The same is true when we set out to adopt a people group or plant churches among a UPG!  Though things don't always go as planned we must still trust that the Lord is in control and He loves us -- even Noah!  :-)

Thanks for praying!
Dave, Luey, Andy and Noah

Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 37 - June 24 - Florissant, MO to Carrolton, IL

Day 37 - June 24 - Florissant, MO to Carrolton, IL (46 miles)

It was hard to leave the Edward's abode!  I can't explain it, but there is a special bond with POM's (Parents of Missionaries).  It's like we get each other, and can share things with them that few others will understand.  Anyway, we were blessed beyond measure!

We crossed the Mighty Mississippi this morning, and it felt great -- like we'd crossed a big hurdle!  Andy and Luey were amazed by the breadth of the river.  Hey, we're east of the Mississippi!  And, tomorrow we will go over 2,000 miles!  Many ask, "How do you do it?"  Each morning I pray, "Lord, give us today our daily bread."  We ask the Lord to provide all we need as we step forward in faith.  And, the Lord has been faithful to provide.

Because the Kingdom belongs to the Lord -- "thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory;" we can ask in the name of  Jesus!  Thank you, Lord Jesus, that we have been chosen to carry the message to all nations!  What a privilege!

Tomorrow it is on to one of our favorite churches -- First Christian, in Beardstown, IL!  They have been partnered with us since we left for Taiwan.  And, Lance and Kim Hampton, our old co-workers, are serving there now.

Lord willing, Noah will be rejoining us tomorrow.  Please pray that his knee (or, tendon) holds up to the miles.

Thank you for praying!
Dave, Luey and Andy

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 36 - June 23 - St Louis (Ferguson, MO)

Day 36 - June 23 - St Louis (Ferguson, MO - Worship Day)

Today has been an awesome day as we worshipped with the Ferguson Christian Church, a church in the north suburb of St Louis.  The church has just recently moved back into their church building as two years ago a tornado ripped the roof off on Good Friday.

This morning I shared with the SS classes about the "Story Behind Gloritrek."  It's really about trusting God.  So, one kind sister came to talk to me between services with tears in her eyes.  She is a single mother.  I have some experience in being raised by a single mother -- so I am praying for her and her son.  During worship I spoke on "God's Passion for Unreached Peoples."  Because Ferguson Christian Church has been partnered with Chad and Alicia, in Taiwan, they were already familiar with the "10/40 Window."  Also, Larry and Nancy Doggett, long-time missionaries to Africa are members of Ferguson.  Larry still teaches at St Louis Christian College.  One of their daughters, Jenny, and her family, are also missionaries in Mexico, and were with us this morning!  A beautiful family!

At the end of worship the congregation gathered around Luey, Andy and me and prayed for us!  Very moving!  They also received a special offering for Gloritrek!  What kindness and generosity!  Then, we had a wonderful fellowship dinner.  We went away full in every way!

Bob and Jeannie then took us to downtown St Louis and the Gateway Arch.  Luey and Andy were really amazed by its size.  What a unique place it is!  We had a great time by the river!  No sooner than we arrive back at the Edward's home, and the black clouds rolled in ominously and it began to dump rain!  I am sitting on the back porch and the sound of the rain, thunder and lightning is truly deafening!

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will cross the Mighty Mississippi, and enter Illinois!  Our 8th state!  Lord willing, Noah will rejoin the Gloritrek team in Beardstown on Tuesday!

Isn't it wonderful to be a part of the family of God!
Thank you for praying!
Dave, Luey and Andy

Day 35 - June 22 - Rolla to St Louis, MO

Day 35 - June 22 - Rolla to St Louis, MO (72 miles)

It is the Lord's Day morning here in St Louis, and we are being hosted by Bob and Jeannie Edwards, the parents of our terrific co-workers in Taiwan, Chad and Alicia Edwards.  It was Chad who designed our t-shirts, bike jerseys, bikes and produced the videos (promo and Noah's).  I'm sitting on the back porch, listening to birds sing as I type this -- "ti how la!"  (that's Chinese for "too good!")  Luey is eating cake for breakfast!

Yesterday was a great day, made much easier by the Edwards!  They e-mailed us early in the week and asked if they could drive out of St Louis and meet us, as it was proving difficult to find a route to N. St Louis -- over the rivers and thru the woods.  No sooner did we meet up with the Edwards, and the Lord opened the heavens and it began to dump rain.  How many times has that happened on this trip!

We went straight-away to a local bike shop and replaced a couple tires!  2000 miles must be the limit for road tires carry saddle bags!  We also found tire liners -- a sheet of plastic that goes between the tire and the tubes that is suppose to be puncture proof -- "ti how la!"

Last night we had a wonderful dinner -- St Louis style barbecue pork chops, and then were forced to watch the Cardinals play!  In between these, we made a call to wish Cordelia Kurtz, from Fisher, IL; a happy 100th birthday!  What a sweet sister in the Lord!  I was her pastor years ago before we made the move to Taiwan!  Cordelia is a woman of strong faith and a true prayer warrior!  We also did a two-day interview with a radio station in Central Illinois.  It will aire on Monday and Tuesday, morning and evening, on WGNJ, Great News Radio!  You can also listen on-line:

Thank you for praying!
Dave, Luey and Andy